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In recent decades, human rights have come to occupy an apparently unshakable position as a key and pervasive feature of contemporary global public culture. At the same time, human rights have become a central focus of research in the social sciences, embracing distinctive analytical and empirical agendas for the study of rights. This volume gathers together original social-scientific research on human rights, and in doing so situates them in an open intellectual terrain, thereby responding to the complexity and scope of meanings, practices, and institutions associated with such rights. Chapters in the book examine diverse theoretical perspectives and examine such issues as the right to health, indigenous peoples' rights, cultural politics, the role of the United Nations, women and violence, the role of corporations and labour law. Written by leading scholars in the field and from a range of disciplines across the social sciences, this volume combines new empirical research with both established and innovative social theory.